Favorite Things: Color and Eggs

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Judging by the number of articles I have collected over the years offering suggestions on how to dye eggs for Easter this is something I have wanted to do for a long time and just never did it- so in keeping with my attempt to celebrate the day, I finally dyed eggs- before Easter!

As I noted before, when I have an idea often it requires the assistance of a family member to see it through with me. This time my daughter was my “helper” but actually is the one who kept track of how to do each type.

Sounds complicated – we were just dyeing eggs, right? How difficult does this have to be?

I mentioned I have been accumulating articles about egg dyeing over years. Who knew there were so many options?

We chose to dye 8 eggs. We could have dyed 12 but you never know when you may want to bake something so kept 4 available for that!

This is what we decided to do with the 8 eggs:

  1. Use natural dyes: turmeric, coffee, beets, and purple cabbage
  2. Use an unnatural dye: Grape kool-aid
  3. Use good old fashioned food dye with a twist (see photos below!)
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Boil, Boil, Toil and Trouble! 

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Purple cabbage being strained 

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Isn’t the color of turmeric beautiful?! 

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Pouring the cabbage water! Getting excited to see how the eggs turn out!

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Our initial plan was to use beets but didn’t have any so substituted canned cranberry.

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Grape Kool-aid smells like summer to me!

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Tried a Country Living Magazine suggestion to make ombre eggs with green food coloring.

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Here is the darkest green of the 3

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An uneven take of the cranberry juice makes for an interesting effect! I will be sure to have beets on hand next year! 

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Our finished eggs! Next year we will try decorating and coloring.

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Happy Easter!



A Picture a Day: Day 76

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This isn’t actually my picture of the day for today- day 76.

This is a picture of my favorite road advertisement. First of all, the man on the billboard looks exactly like somebody I know who is one of the nicest people I’ve met. So I just like his face.

Second, it changes with the season.

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day- Candy and Flowers!

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My picture of the day- Day 76!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Favorite Things: Keeping up with the Calendars…


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I am in my second week of celebrating the March National _____Days and using my March Popular Science Calendar and it is, as they say, keeping me off the streets! I have been posting on Instagram but thought it would be fun to share some behind the scenes pictures here too!

I’ll start with my attempt at Hydroponics. Let’s just say I am still purchasing basil at the grocery store.

The instructions in the Popular Mechanics magazine were very detailed and required a large (20 gallon) plastic tub with lid for the set up. I was thinking this may be pretty big for me so did a little research and found this terrific tutorial to attempt hydroponics on a smaller scale!

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Here are my supplies: coffee can, air pump and tubing 

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I decided to make my own aerated cups (with my husband’s help and fancy dial caliper)

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It is always fun to bring out the tools!

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This seemed like it was going to work like a charm!

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Placing the aerated container filled with rocks and basil plant 

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So much hope for success!!

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The markings show better days….

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Maybe I should try container gardening?!

Favorite Things: Calendar Success

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A new month is here, like it or not. I kinda like it.

Using the Popular Mechanics February Calendar has been a lot of fun! I ended up doing more suggestions than I thought I would, and my family even got in on the action! I especially enjoyed making the projects – the snow gauge and hydroponic station.


I was planning on trying another magazine’s calendar for March, but after looking at my March Popular Mechanics calendar, I decided I wanted to try and make my own copper jewelry so will stick with them another month!

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In addition, I am going to attempt to celebrate National_____Day every day. I decided which National ____Day I want to celebrate each day for the month of March and wrote them on a blank calendar. It looks ambitious now that I am looking at it but I am going to give it a try!


Today is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day- that doesn’t seem too difficult to celebrate since I love peanut butter. I am going to try a recipe from Simply Recipes called African Chicken Peanut Stew.  It sounds delicious!

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Happy Peanut Butter Lover’s Day!

To follow along with my March celebrations, you can check out my Instagram page. Here’s to a great new month!

Favorite Things: Calendar Updated and Improved to Accommodate National Margarita Day!

If you notice today’s date, February 22nd, on the Popular Mechanics calendar and compare it with the suggestion in the Parade Magazine, you might be like me and decide to make a substitution and celebrate National Margarita Day instead of changing your furnace filter. (I suppose I could do both!)

I was going to try one of the Margaritas on the Parade.com site but decided to stick with  the best Margarita recipe I have ever had.  It is from Martha Stewart’s Menus for Entertaining, and it is still delicious after all these years!

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Happy Margarita Day!

Favorite Things: Bananas

cm-banana-focus_fotorWhile grocery shopping a few weeks ago, I realized how much I like bananas. Let me count the ways…

  1. You get a lot of bang for your buck: 3 pounds for $1.48. That’s amazing.
  2. They are packaged on their own. I don’t need to put them in a bag or a box to put in a lunch bag.
  3. They are versatile. Great for a snack on their own or as an ingredient in a bread, muffin, or cake (more on that later.)
  4. You can buy them and feel healthy, knowing that you can use them in less “healthy” ways when they brown and still feel good about yourself because you’re not wasting!!! Wow!

I am sure there are more positive things to point out but I want to get to the recipes! My first terrific recipe using bananas is my banana cake recipe. I would have never tried it if it wasn’t for our friend, Mark, who was always more adventurous than me. Anyway, he saw the recipe first so I want to give credit where credit is due…

This recipe is from the Ann Arbor’s Cookin’! cookbook and has been my husband’s choice for his birthday cake for many years now. It was also the favorite of our dog Katie, who never even begged for food, but one year she somehow was able to eat half the cake before my husband even touched it. To add insult to injury, she couldn’t stop licking her “lips”  for quite awhile afterwards even as she tried to look innocent. Hopefully that is a hard enough sell for you to try it!


Banana Spice Cake


-2 cups all-purpose flour

-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

-3/4 teaspoon baking soda

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

-1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

-1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)

-1 teaspoon vanilla

-1/4 cup sour milk (or fresh milk with squirt of lemon juice)

-1/2 cup butter or margarine

-1-1/2 cups sugar

-2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. In separate bowl combine bananas, vanilla and milk. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Continue to beat until color lightens. Add flour mixture alternately with banana mixture, stirring until smooth after each addition. Turn into 2 greased 9-inch layer pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until done. Cool on racks and ice with buttercream frosting.

An adjustment I make with this recipe is to make 1 small cake (6 inch round) and 12 cupcakes instead of a 9 inch 2 layer cake. I can freeze the cupcakes to enjoy later and the small cake is plenty to celebrate the day!

The second banana recipe I would like to share is for banana bread. My friend, Ann, shared this recipe with me and this is what it looks like.


I am always worried that I am going to lose it because it is so small! As you can see I have used this recipe many times and have to agree with Ann- it is the best banana bread I have ever had!  I hope you try it and enjoy it as much I have!


Ann's Best Banana Bread


1/3 cup shortening or margarine

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 cup mashed bananas (2-3)

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


-Cream margarine/butter and sugar

-Add bananas and eggs

-Mix separately flour, salt, baking soda and add with milk

-Stir in walnuts

-Bake 350 degrees 1 hour (at least) in greased loaf pan

-Cool on rack, wrap in Aluminum Foil

-Slices better on the 2nd day

Like the previous recipe, an adjustment I make with this recipe is that I make it in 3 smaller sized loaf pans. I cook it until the testing skewer comes out clean. It is close to an hour. Another way to know it is finished is it smells wonderful!


A Picture a Day: Day 46

CM Parrot Mailbox Photo of the Day 46.JPGLast night I went to my Book Club meeting hosted at the Public Library. We had a great discussion, and as we were putting away the chairs, fellow Book Club member Lisa told me about a mailbox that she thought I would enjoy seeing. She gave me a brief description (it is a parrot) and directions.

It did not disappoint.

Photo of the Day!

Favorite Things: Calendar Update


So far so good. I am on Day 8 of The Popular Mechanics “How to get the most out of your life” February Calendar. I am happy to report that using this calendar has been helped me accomplish February-ish things. Here is my report after one week.

  1. I watched Punxsutawney Phil and Ozzy the Bear predict the length of the winter and the winner of the Super Bowl. I don’t think I would have watched either if it hadn’t been for this calendar and I enjoyed both of them.
  2. I made the weather station on page 60 of the magazine. That is, the snow platform to be able to measure snow. It is supposed to snow tomorrow so I am excited about using it for the first time! Good thing I made it when Popular Mechanics suggested!
  3. I bought the Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman book. I haven’t bought a newly released book since Harry Potter #7 ! And it is a signed copy!

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    Now I have to read it!